The Life Kitchen: Haloumi in grilled vine leaves by Greg and Lucy Malouf
Ingredients to serve 4 as a starter
Thursday 19 November 2009
*16 hand-sized grape leaves, fresh or preserved
*2 blocks Cypriot haloumi, each about 200g, soaked in cold water for 1 hour
*1 teaspoon sweet paprika
*A quarter teaspoon chilli powder
*16 thin slices prosciutto
*2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*2 tablespoons olive oil
Haloumi is one of our favourite cheeses: it has a strange, almost rubbery texture and an addictive salty-sweet flavour. Eaten as is, it can be a little bland, but try dusting it with a little seasoned flour and frying or grilling it, Greek saganaki-style, which transforms its flavour and gives it a lovely crisp-golden coating
Here is another way of cooking it: wrapped in a layer of sweet prosciutto and tangy vine leaves, which char to a gorgeous crunch under the grill. If you·re lucky enough to have a grapevine in your garden, or if you live near a vineyard, your can harvest your own during the summer. Fresh vine leaves have an incomparable citrus tang, without the often tinny-briny undertone that you find in the preserved ones. The latter are fine but need a thorough soaking and rinsing before you can use them.If you are using preserved vine leaves, soak them well, then rinse and pat dry. Fresh vine leaves should first be blanched and refreshed.
After soaking the haloumi, pat dry and cut each block widthways into eight fat slices. Mix the chilli and paprika together and dust the cheese very lightly then wrap with a slice of prosciutto.
Lay the vine leaves, vein side up, on the work surface. Lie the prosciutto-wrapped cheese block across the base of the leaf and splash on a drop of extra virgin olive oil. Roll the leaf over once, then fold in the sides and continue to roll into a neat little square parcel. Brush each parcel with a little olive oil and cook under a preheated, very hot grill for a few minutes on each side, or until the vine leaves start to colour and blister. Serve them straight from thegrill with a squeeze of lemon.
From 'Moorish' by Greg and Lucy Malouf (Hardie Grant Books, £18.99)
Anakena Single Vineyard 2008, Chile
Noel Young Wines, £7.99
With intense apricot, rose and ginger aromas, this crisp wine would be a perfect partner to grilled Haloumi in vine leaves.
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